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A good lobang: Singlife Account Review

An Insurance Savings Plan that offers 2.5% returns per annum (for your first $10,000) with No Lock-In or Fees


Source: Singlife website


[UPDATE - 31st October 2020]


- Singlife will be adjusting their crediting rates on the Singlife Account from 2.5% to 2% per annum (p.a.) for the first S$10,000 with effect from 1 November 2020.

- The rate continues to remain competitive with no lock-ins or withdrawal fees.


- There will be no change to the 1% p.a. return for the next S$90,000 in the Singlife Account.

- Singlife is also introducing the “Save, Spend, Earn” campaign so customers can still continue earning 2.5% p.a. for the first S$10,000.

- From 1 November 2020, customers who spend S$500 within their specified card spend period on the Singlife Visa Debit Card will qualify for a bonus 0.5% p.a. return on top of the new base return of 2% p.a. for the duration of one policy month.

- For more details on how the “Save, Spend, Earn” campaign works, please visit: www.singlife.com/manage/save-spend-earn-campaign/


[NOTE] If you haven’t signed up for the Singlife Account which gives a pretty 2.5% annual interest rate on your first $10,000, here is some money to nudge you into action. Get $10 when you sign up through my invitation link! (Access the link on your phone, and note that you have to also apply for the free Singlife VISA debit card in order to get the $10) - Disclaimer: I also get $10


As someone who is always on the lookout for a good lobang, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I stumbled upon the Singlife Account by Singapore Life, a.k.a Singlife.


Singlife, a direct life insurer fully licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is offering 2.5% annual interest rate for the first $10,000 deposited into its Singlife Account.


Having signed up for it a few days back already, here is my personal review of the Singlife Account thus far. I would also like to point out that this post is not sponsored or collaborated with anyone. Good lobangs must share! As simple as that.

2.5% INTEREST RATE PER ANNUM ON THE FIRST $10,000

No Fees. No lock-in period. Withdraw anytime. It's that good of a deal. Now you know why I was so excited to share about this! The first $10,000 in your Singlife Account earns a pretty 2.5% interest rate, the next $90,000 earns a 1% interest rate, and any amount beyond the first $100,000 earns you nothing. The interest is calculated daily and credited to your account on the beginning of each month, on a monthly basis.


Diagram 1: Interest rate per annum for different deposit amounts in Singlife Account



So here comes the catch - the returns are not guaranteed and Singlife has the absolute discretion to change it anytime. In addition, you would need to deposit an initial amount of $500 to start earning the 2.5% annual interest.


For the former, I feel that it is no biggie as the Singlife Account comes with no lock-in period, so if the interest rate does change in the future and is no longer attractive, I could simply move my deposits elsewhere with a click of a button (read on for more details how) and with no fees and penalties involved.


Note also that the Singlife Account only supports Singapore Dollars and that you are only allowed to open one Singlife Account. In addition, while there is no fall-below fee, all benefits will cease if your Singlife Account value falls below $100.



HOW TO DEPOSIT OR WITHDRAW FUNDS?


The deposit and withdrawal of funds from the Singlife account is via our local 'Fast And Secure Transfers' (FAST) electronic funds transfer method that most of us should be quite familiar with. This is also why I mentioned earlier that I could simply withdraw my deposits elsewhere with a click of a button (via the Singlife app).


With FAST, it is almost immediate to transfer funds between the Singlife Account and your personal bank account.

IS MY DEPOSIT SAFE?


The good news is that your deposits in the Singlife Account is protected up to specified limits by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC), since Singlife is a registered member of the Policy Owner’s Protection (PPF) Scheme. The PPF Scheme protects policy owners in the event a life or general insurer which is a PPF Scheme member fails.


The PPF Scheme is administered by the SDIC, and provides 100% protection for the guaranteed benefits of your life insurance policies up to the applicable caps. At the time of writing, the prevailing amount protected under the PPF Scheme is $100,000. Coverage is automatic once you open the Singlife Account and no further action is required from your end.



INSURANCE BENEFITS

While we have so far been talking mostly about the 2.5% interest rate of the Singlife Account, it is also worth noting that the Singlife Account offers some free insurance benefits; it is a product by an insurance company after all.


Life Insurance Coverage


Every Singlife Account automatically provides the account holder (under the age of 61) a life insurance cover for death or terminal illness of 105% of the account value or $50,000, whichever is lower. For account holder above the age of 61, it is changed to 101% of the account value or $50,000, whichever is lower.


Retrenchment Coverage


If you are retrenched and remain unemployed for at least four months, Singlife will also pay you a retrenchment benefit for a period of three months. The retrenchment benefit is your average monthly card transaction values made over the past six months immediately before the date of retrenchment, with a total retrenchment benefit payable over three months capped at S$10,000. Do note that this benefit will not be payable if you are retrenched within the first six months of your policy start date, or your severance package is more then three months of your monthly salary.



SINGLIFE VISA DEBIT CARD


With a Singlife Account, you are also entitled to apply for a complimentary Singlife Visa Debit Card. There is no annual fees and you can use the card worldwide with no additional Forex service fees levied by Singlife, should you made a payment in a foreign currency. Should you wish to check the transactions made on the card, you could do so via the Singlife App. The same goes for the activation and deactivation of the card.


Diagram 2: How the Singlife Visa Debit Card looks like. Source: Singlife Website



It is worthy to note however that you would have a daily spending limit of up to $5,000 or 15 transactions, whichever occurs first. Furthermore, you would not be able to make any ATM withdrawals.


Should you be keen to apply for the Singlife Visa Debit Card, you can do so via the Singlife app, and you would receive the card to your registered mailing address between 9 - 12 business days. However, in light of the Covid-19 situation, this period might vary. Based on my personal experience, Singlife would email you to inform you about the delay so not to worry!


[NOTE] If you want to get the $10 when you sign up through my invitation link, you need to access the link on your phone, and also apply for the free Singlife VISA debit card in order to get the $10. - Disclaimer: I also get $10



Diagram 3: Friendly email update from Singlife informing about the delay in card delivery



FINAL VERDICT


Personally, I think that the Singlife Account is a great product for your first $10,000, given its full liquidity and attractive returns by savings account standards. The Singlife Account could serve as a good platform for you to hold your emergency savings or working capital in the short term, while earning a decent return with its 2.5% interest rate per annum.


For my end, I only deposited $10,000 as I believe that my remaining money could earn rates better than the given 1% per annum on other platforms or products, one such example being the Standard Chartered Jumpstart Account which I use as well, for people under the age of 26. (UPDATE: The Standard Chartered Jumpstart Account has reduced its 2% interest per annum to also only 1% per annum.)



Diagram 4: Singlife App home screen showing the deposits within my Singlife Account



HOW TO SIGN UP?


If you are a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident above the age of 18, you can sign up for a Singlife Account. You would have to download the Singlife app first and to sign up for a Singlife Account via the app. Singlife has done a great job by incorporating the local MyInfo function into the sign up process, making the sign up a pretty fuss-free and easy process. In fact, it took me less than 5 minutes to have my Singlife Account properly set up and ready.


Once your application is successful, you will be redirected to make a FAST transfer to a DBS bank account belonging to Singlife. Take note again that you need to transfer an initial amount of $500 in order for the 2.5% interest rate per annum to kick start for your Singlife Account.


As a rule of safety, you could first try transferring $1 over to your Singlife Account first to see if your Singlife Account receives it, and whether everything was setup well and proper, before transferring the remaining funds over.


You should receive an email from Singlife informing you of the successful initiation of the 2.5% interest rate benefit for your Singlife Account once all the above is done.


Diagram 5: Email update from Singlife on successful initiation of Singlife Account



And that's it! Now just sit back and enjoy the 2.5% interest per annum on your first $10,000.


For more information or questions, do refer to Singlife website at https://singlife.com/manage/.



[NOTE] If you haven’t signed up for the Singlife Account which gives a pretty 2.5% annual interest rate on your first $10,000, here is some money to nudge you into action. Get $10 when you sign up through my invitation link! (Access the link on your phone, and note that you have to also apply for the free Singlife VISA debit card in order to get the $10) - Disclaimer: I also get $10


Article accurate as of 31st Oct 2020


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Disclaimer: All information contained herein this blog is solely the writer's personal opinion, and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation of an offer of any kind. Readers are also advised to do their own due diligence, and to consult a financial adviser for any financial advice.

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All information contained herein this blog is solely Jeffrey's personal opinion, and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation of an offer to enter into a transaction or adopt any hedging, trading or investment strategy, nor does it constitute any prediction of likely future movements in rates or prices or any representation that any such future movements will not exceed those shown in any illustration. It also does not constitute an offer to buy or sell an insurance or financial product or service nor is it intended to provide insurance or financial advice. Readers are fully responsible for their investment decision, including whether the product or service described (if any) herein is suitable for them. Readers are also advised to do their own due diligence, and to consult a financial adviser for any financial advice. Jeffrey will not accept any responsibility or liability of any kind, with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information herein, and makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express, implied or statutory regarding any information contained or referred to herein.